Vegan Diet

Vegan Diet

I view vegans and vegetarians much the same way I view Christians and Mac fans.  I wouldn’t mind them at all if they weren’t so damned evangelical about it.  I was vegetarian for about three years, but I tried very hard not to be a vegetarian evangelist.

Check out Fat Head on Hulu while it’s still available.  It has a clear liberty perspective with an emphasis on personal choice and responsibility.  It’s two hours, but it flies by because it’s really entertaining.

UPDATE (2011/05/11): Fat Head is currently available for instant play on Netflix.

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Discussion (57)¬

  1. Dennis Nezic says:

    @MaineShark, your view of a dying brain is incredibly naive and simplistic. I don’t think anyone can be quite sure what signals flow throughout the brain when massive trauma is encountered, or when blood pressure rapidly begins to decrease, or from any such lingering phenonema. To assume that it will be absolutely painless just seems wrong. (Also, I don’t speak on behalf of “veganism”, so please refrain from strawman arguments.)

    It is interesting, nevertheless, that you put so much thought into the potential suffering of the animals. If I could prove to you that there was a second of excruciating pain, would it change your position at all?

    Industrial slaughterhouses aren’t really examples of “wanton” cruelty — it’s just more efficient to slaughter animals in bulk (intense stress during the last few minutes at least) using painful assembly-line-style procedures. Animal suffering just isn’t as high a priority for the meat industry as it is for you or me. Knowing this, what is your position on the majority of meat-eaters whose meat is derived from substantial animal suffering?

    Regarding fish, I do actually remember hearing about studies that imply some fish might sense pain, so I am hesitant to use them as an example. If I can be assured that an brained animal feels no pain, then my lack of desire to kill it is perfectly aesthetic, and irrelevant to this discussion. (And, very likely might be supplemented with balanced-ecosystem arguments.)

    There is no real potential for suffering by unecessarily posting on the internet, as there is, potentially, for unecessarily harming animals for “taste”. You can try to intellectualize the problem by claiming animals are just property, but your actions and words betray you. (You do see concerned about animal suffering.)

    I should remind you that your handwaving about painless death is just as unscientific as mine — except I don’t stereotype all meat-eaters based on this particular hand-waving of yours. Also, I assure you, I am perfectly healthy not eating meat, or any “complex dietary supplements” (with the single exception of b12.) There is nothing particularly detailed or demanding about my daily diet. You can break down the constituents of meat and flesh, and find perfectly suitable plant substitutes. Oh, the wonders of science! I find it laughable that you should criticize the vegetarian diet for being unsustainable when every measurement I’ve seen (water/lb, energy/lb, acres/lb) shows meat to be far and away less efficient.

  2. MaineShark says:

    @Dennis Nezic:

    “your view of a dying brain is incredibly naive and simplistic. I don’t think anyone can be quite sure what signals flow throughout the brain when massive trauma is encountered, or when blood pressure rapidly begins to decrease, or from any such lingering phenonema. To assume that it will be absolutely painless just seems wrong. ”

    Um, yes, we can be pretty sure what happens. Neuroscience is not exactly un-studied. Unless we go to the ridiculous level of “you cannot be /absolutely/ certain,” at which point we’d also have to consider that we cannot be “absolutely” certain that plants don’t feel pain.

    “It is interesting, nevertheless, that you put so much thought into the potential suffering of the animals. If I could prove to you that there was a second of excruciating pain, would it change your position at all?”

    Certainly. But you can’t. Someone might, hypothetically, be able to, but it’s quite clear that /you/ lack the scientific knowledge to engage in such a discussion, as you do not even understand the most basic overview about how pain is experienced.

    “Industrial slaughterhouses aren’t really examples of “wanton” cruelty — it’s just more efficient to slaughter animals in bulk (intense stress during the last few minutes at least) using painful assembly-line-style procedures. Animal suffering just isn’t as high a priority for the meat industry as it is for you or me. Knowing this, what is your position on the majority of meat-eaters whose meat is derived from substantial animal suffering?”

    I don’t accept your propagandistic claim that the “majority” of meat is slaughtered in a cruel manner.

    “There is no real potential for suffering by unecessarily posting on the internet, as there is, potentially, for unecessarily harming animals for “taste”. You can try to intellectualize the problem by claiming animals are just property, but your actions and words betray you. (You do see concerned about animal suffering.)”

    No, I’d also be “concerned” if someone were to destroy a work of art, or a valuable classic car, or whatnot. It’s an aesthetic sensibility, nothing more. And my aesthetic sensibilities are no more valid than anyone else’s. If your posting on the Internet is offensive to someone whose aesthetic sensibilities oppose technology, then clearly you should stop, right?

    “I should remind you that your handwaving about painless death is just as unscientific as mine — except I don’t stereotype all meat-eaters based on this particular hand-waving of yours.”

    Um, no, I’ve studied cognitive psych and such in depth, actually. My statements are /quite/ scientific, and based upon actual research. And yes, you do stereotype all meat eaters, quite often, in your posts here.

    “Also, I assure you, I am perfectly healthy not eating meat, or any “complex dietary supplements” (with the single exception of b12.) There is nothing particularly detailed or demanding about my daily diet. You can break down the constituents of meat and flesh, and find perfectly suitable plant substitutes. Oh, the wonders of science!”

    Doubt it.

    “I find it laughable that you should criticize the vegetarian diet for being unsustainable when every measurement I’ve seen (water/lb, energy/lb, acres/lb) shows meat to be far and away less efficient.”

    There are lies, damn lies, and statistics.

    I could point out a few random counter-arguments, eh? Like that meat has a higher nutrient density per pound, so it takes less fuel to transport a given amount of nutrition. Or that most meats tolerate freezing better than most vegetables (flexible cell wall, versus rigid cell wall), so they can be transported even more efficiently, without complex preparations to make sure they stay fresh. Or the biggie, that meat animals can eat crops which humans do not (my rabbits eat alfalfa, primarily), which grow in a wider variety of areas (turning “useless” land into farmland), and which require little or no pesticide use and other environmentally-damaging nonsense, and then convert those crops into valuable food for humans.

  3. Surhotchaperchlorome says:

    Holy shit, this discussion/comment section is getting huge! O.o

  4. pjnoir says:

    Meat- especial grass fed beef is not only healthier for people- it is healthier for the planet. Vegetarians have little or no idea the amount of killing it takes to plow under land to grow crops leaviong the soil open to erosion. Meat has a greater nutrional density than plants. All the vegans in my office are always sick, miss work and look like they are dying- which they are. And men do it mostly to stay with a girl.

  5. Crotalus says:

    Remember kids!: “A rib a day keeps the vegans away!” :D

  6. debbie says:

    Hi,
    Just wanted to tell you that I used your picture in my blog today. :)
    I hope you are OK with that.
    If not, I can remove it, just tell me.
    Thanks,

    debbie -

  7. […] The original cartoon is on this site. […]

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